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Rhoads, Mathes honored for service

Rhoads, Mathes honored for service
Rhoads, Mathes honored for service
Councilwoman Rhonda Rhoads, left, and chairman Carl (Buck) Mathes share a laugh Dec. 22 before opening gifts from the other council members at their final meeting on the county council. Behind them are, left, Heather Metcalf, chief deputy auditor, and Auditor Pat Wolfe. Vice chairman of the council Chris Timberlake is seated to their left. (Photo by Ross Schulz)

Members of the Harrison County Council showed their appreciation for two outgoing members last Monday night, Carl (Buck) Mathes and Rhonda Rhoads. The council pitched-in to purchase a glass vase for Rhoads and a glass gavel for Mathes to show their gratitude and appreciation for their loyal years of service, said vice chairman Chris Timberlake. Both items were made by Zimmerman Art Glass in Corydon and had their years of service engraved on them.
‘I’ve been honored to learn from and serve with both of you,’ said Timberlake.
Mathes and Rhoads went head-to-head for the county Commissioner District 2 seat in last month’s General Election. Mathes defeated Rhoads by a count of 8,923 to 8,901, following a recount of all 36 precincts.
Rhoads spoke about a night a long time ago at the Eagles Club when she and Mathes shared a dance. She said he must have been a good dancer because he didn’t step on her toes.
‘That’s what’s great about my big belly,’ said Mathes. ‘They’re far enough out there that you can’t step on them.’
Mathes also received a block of cheese from American Structurepoint, a company based in Indianapolis that is contracted by the county.
‘I’m a great cheese eater,’ he said.
Timberlake said he recalled a budget meeting earlier this year when Auditor Pat Wolfe told Mathes and Rhoads they reminded her of an old married couple. He said he has never seen Rhoads laugh so hard and Mathes so speechless.
Mathes served three terms on the council, including the last two years as chairman. Rhoads has been on the council since 2000, serving as vice chair in 2005 and 2006.
In serious business last Monday night, the council’s five returning members unanimously approved a motion to give their support to the commissioners to hire Capital Asset Management LLC, for consulting services to lobby the state legislature to ensure the county keeps its riverboat allotment. The additional of $48,000 will be voted on at the council’s first meeting of 2009, on Jan. 12, at 7 p.m.
‘We’re kind of concerned, given the economic condition, that they may try to take (the funds) away,’ said Commissioner James Goldman.
‘There’s $23 million at stake,’ said Commissioner Terry Miller. ‘We can do nothing and they take the $23 million or we can pay $48,000 to protect it. It’s a gamble either way.’
Councilman William T. (Bill) Nichols was initially against hiring a lobbyist, saying the county needs to focus its efforts on elected officials such as State Rep. Paul Robertson and Sen. Richard Young. Nichols did, however, last week vote for the motion because he said something has to be done to protect the money and he trusted Miller’s recommendation.
Miller said the county could ask other counties and towns that receive a riverboat allotment to help with the cost of the service. He said Capital Asset has contacted other riverboat counties to form a united front at the state level.
‘They all need to get on board with this,’ said Mathes.
The council unanimously reappointed Harry L. Smith to the alcoholic beverage board, Wanda Jinks to the county park board and Bill Lyskowinski to the Property Tax Board of Appeals. The council tabled the two appointments for the regional sewer district. Gary Davis and Dan Lee’s terms on the board expire today (Wednesday).
‘I’d like to be on that board,’ said Mathes. ‘I would like for you all to nominate me for it.’
Rhoads said the council needs a representative on the board, and Mathes said the sewer district members should welcome a member for fundraising purposes. Mathes and Nichols were against the motion to table the appointments.
Before Mathes concluded his final meeting as chairman, he endorsed Timberlake for the position on the new council.
‘You can’t go wrong with ol’ Chris here,’ he said. ‘He’s helped me out several times, keeping me straight. Lord knows I need it.’